The transition of youth with disabilities into formal employment in Bangladesh: a qualitative study

Main objectives

  • To understand how youth with disability navigate their journey towards formal employment, and their perceived outlook for the future following transition into formal employment
  • To understand the factors enabling and constraining youth with disability adjustment to access enhanced opportunities for formal employability


To date there has been little in-depth research to document how youth with disabilities are transitioning into formal employment, nor have the effects of this transition on their lives and livelihoods in poor rural areas of low and middle income countries been investigated.

The proposed research aims to contribute to this knowledge gap and inform disability-inclusive employment policy debates in Bangladesh, notably around the adjustments that youth with disabilities make to their lives to transition into formal employment and how transition into formal employment is affecting their livelihoods and socio-economic situation.

Added value of this study

This research will explore transition into formal employment using case study methods that have been used successfully in other settings, to provide targeted qualitative data which will complement data already being collected in the Inclusion Works (IW) programme.

Policy and practice implications

In collaboration with the government of Bangladesh and several consortium partners, Sightsavers has been working in three districts of Bangladesh to redress the underrepresentation of people with disabilities in formal employment through the IW programme. Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the programme works directly with organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs), NGOs and prospective employers to demonstrate ways to include people with disabilities in the workplace on an equal basis with others.

With this piece of research, we have an excellent opportunity to examine this proposition in Bangladesh by documenting the experiences of transition into gainful employment for youth with disabilities participating in the IW programme and discerning the effect of broader support and policy dynamics on their transition experiences.


Study details
Start date
13 June 2022
Finish date
31 March 2023
Main contact
Stevens Bechange
Senior Research Adviser, Africa and South Asia
  • Sightsavers
  • Institute of Health Economics, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh